“What would you do if something spiritual disproved your scientific beliefs?”

Why is this a battle and not a unifying gift?
Why is this a battle and not a unifying gift?
Human fascination with God has been one of the most prominent features of our species for several millennia. Those who believe in monotheism, tend to believe in a God who is sovereign, and all-powerful. He is all-knowing, and if you are Christian, He is all-loving. Believers ascribe attributes to God, having never seen Him. For the devout Christian, many come to “see His hand” and “feel His presence.” Agnostic and Atheist critics very often feel compelled to “disprove God”, which is an illogical stance; to disprove something one says doesn’t exist. Perhaps they actually do see His hand, and feel His presence, but these features elude the rigid belief structure of the agnostic and the atheist. Some have asserted that there are those among us that are simply unequipped to “know” God, His hand, or His presence. Perhaps the Bible agrees. Let’s explore the idea.

Credit Fox Searchlight Pictures (Mike Cahill) 2014
Credit Fox Searchlight Pictures (Mike Cahill) 2014
Let’s take for example a passage from the movie ‘I Origins’. For those inclined to beliefs for and against God, there is a fascinating conversation between Sofi, the God believing love interest of Ian, the God denying scientist lead character.

Sofi: How many senses do worms have?

Ian: They have two. Smell and touch. Why?

Sofi: So… they live without any ability to see or even know about light, right? The notion of light to them is unimaginable.

Ian: Yeah.

Sofi: But we humans… we know that light exists. All around them… right on top of them… they cannot sense it. But with a little mutation, they do. Right?

Ian: Correct.

Sofi: So… Doctor Eye… perhaps some humans, rare humans… have mutated to have another sense. A spirit sense. And can perceive a world that is right on top of us… everywhere. Just like the light on these worms.

Teaching disciples as Jewish authorities watch
Teaching disciples as Jewish authorities watch
It is an interesting idea, and its supported by Biblical principles. Jesus was teaching His disciples among a crowd that included the hard-hearted Jewish leaders and enforcers of Jewish law. Absorb how Jesus answered this question:

Matthew 13:10-13 (NLT) His disciples came and asked him, “Why do you use parables when you talk to the people?” He replied, “You are permitted to understand the secrets of the Kingdom of Heaven, but others are not. To those who listen to my teaching, more understanding will be given, and they will have an abundance of knowledge. But for those who are not listening, even what little understanding they have will be taken away from them.  That is why I use these parables, For they look, but they don’t really see. They hear, but they don’t really listen or understand.

Moses Exodus 33:22
Moses Exodus 33:22
This conversation is reminiscent of a conversation between Yahweh and Moses, as Moses prepared to lead the Israelites into the promised land. Moses’ flesh struggled to hear God’s promise of provision for the journey, and His conviction of the hearts of those who were to follow. Moses implored God to let him see His Glory;

Exodus 33:14-23 (NLT) 14 The LORD replied, “I will personally go with you, Moses, and I will give you rest—everything will be fine for you.”

15 Then Moses said, “If you don’t personally go with us, don’t make us leave this place.

16 How will anyone know that you look favorably on me—on me and on your people—if you don’t go with us? For your presence among us sets your people

Hidden in the cleft of the rock
Hidden in the cleft of the rock
and me apart from all other people on the earth.”

17 The LORD replied to Moses, “I will indeed do what you have asked, for I look favorably on you, and I know you by name.”

18 Moses responded, “Then show me your glorious presence.”

19 The LORD replied, “I will make all my goodness pass before you, and I will call out my name, Yahweh, before you. For I will show mercy to anyone I choose, and I will show compassion to anyone I choose.

20 But you may not look directly at my face, for no one may see me and live.”

21 The LORD continued, “Look, stand near me on this rock.

22 As my glorious presence passes by, I will hide you in the crevice of the rock and cover you with my hand until I have passed by.

23 Then I will remove my hand and let you see me from behind. But my face will not be seen.”

Saved by Grace through Faith
Saved by Grace through Faith
We can learn from this passage that God will never show His face to us, no matter how much we think we need to see it. As we trust and obey God, Jesus’ instruction in Matthew 13:10-13 tells us that He will reveal more and more. He has made the promises. Only through faith can we receive the promises and see His hand, and feel His presence. Faith comes first. If we take the smallest leap of faith, we gain the greatest reward a human soul can ever receive:

Ephesians 2:8-10 (ESV) 8 For by grace you have been saved through faith. And this is not your own doing; it is the gift of God, not a result of works, so that no one may boast. 10 For we are his workmanship, created in Christ Jesus for good works, which God prepared beforehand, that we should walk in them.

“Priya” of I Origins 2014
It is clear, that unless and until we exercise faith, even as small as a mustard seed, we will be unequipped to recognize His glory. Deep inside the conscience of every human being lies the conviction to believe in the Almighty. Let’s close with one last piece of dialogue from I Origins, where an Indian aid worker (Priya) helping Ian find the girl with matching iris scans to the deceased Sofi’s scans. Unexplainable and mathematically impossible as the matching iris scans could be, Priya helps Ian open up to the possibility of belief:

Priya Varma: You know a scientist once asked the Dalai Lama, “What would you do if something scientific disproved your religious beliefs?” And he said, after much thought, “I would look at all the papers. I’d take a look at all the research and really try to understand things. And in the end, if it was clear that the scientific evidence disproved my spiritual beliefs, I would change my beliefs.”

Ian: That’s a good answer.

Priya Varma: Ian… what would you do if something spiritual disproved your scientific beliefs?

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10 comments

    • Hi Janice. Thanks for the read! For many believers, it’s really a matter that some in the science community reject faith completely, rather than being willing to coexist. Thanks again!

  1. Slight problem here – there are no scientific beliefs. There are beliefs, ideas, hypotheses that stem from science, but science itself is not a belief system, it is a testing system.

    • Jason, I’m always glad to hear from you. In theory what you’re saying would be ideal. I really wish scientists would be able to do their work. Most of them are hired by special-interest causes, and as you follow the money you find where they impeach themselves.

      Here are some examples of corruption:

      Have you ever looked up the Sokal Affair? A crafty professor set out to prove peer-reviewed Scientific Journals were corrupt.. He succeeded.. It’s a funny story to Google

      Ever hear of Barry Marshall, the Australian scientist who discovered H Pilori bacteria caused ulcers? He won a Nobel Prize, but not until he spent years defeating Big Pharma “scientists” bent on squashing his discovery so their clients could keep profiting from treatments, rather than his cure.

      Leslie Woodcock, former NASA climate scientist who revealed Climate Change is “rubbish” (his word).

      All that said, if science could ever be pure, it is very unsettled and requires belief in its systems and processes. If duplicability isn’t possible, they default to historicity. That is very sketchy, because it requires the scientist to look subjectively into the past or future. It would require a time machine to be reliable, so faith is indeed what the end up in.

      I’m sure we can both agree that science can be at it’s best if it is done purely. Thanks for your comments.

      • Oh, there is no doubt that corruption seeps into the scientific community. The thing is, falsified work isn’t science. We definitely should have awareness of that and awareness of where there might be suspicious money trails.

        I think it is a mistake to lump the falsifiers in as science, just as I’m sure you wouldn’t want to be lumped in with extremists that cite religion as their prime motivation.

      • Sorry my friend, but I’m not sure I get what the last part of your statement means… but I’m in on the ‘money corrupts’ thing. I’d like to get your thoughts on the examples I mentioned. Of course, I expect you’ll want to google them, and that takes time… Just if you get a moment.

        I’d also like to know your thoughts on when duplicability is impossible. Are you comfortable with future projection, particularly when so many end up dead-wrong (climate change). Historical dating has also had serious problems as well. Do you think objectivity is possible?

      • Well, considering past issues such as what they called the hole in the ozone layer that was certainly human-caused, and that carbon dioxide levels in the atmosphere are currently at all-time highs, I think when taking everything into account you will find that human-assisted climate change is certainly happening. Not to the extent that the alarmists suggest, but far more than the idea that it isn’t happening. Following the money shows that those connected to the oil companies want to deny climate change, while those who want more done about it will exaggerate its dangers. The truth is somewhere in between.

        The last part of my previous statement is about how some people write off religion due to the actions of the corrupt few (extremists) as being a parallel for writing off science due to the corrupt few who falsify it.

      • Gotcha… Alert the media! You and I agree! I would like to get the real information on volcanoes like Mt. Pinatubo’s effect on CFC’s. The EPA writes it off like it’s nothing… That can’t be right. Thanks for the comments!

      • For sure, anyone who is easily writing off other possibilities without much consideration should bear a little more scrutiny. Trouble is, so many people have some sort of agenda to push or idea to sell.

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